Heartbroken strangers turn out to remember little Willow

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl allegedly murdered by her father and stepmother in Brisbane has been remembered as a "very precious child" at a public memorial.

Willow Dunn, who had Down syndrome, was discovered dead in her Cannon Hill home Last month.

Willow Dunn when she was a baby.
Willow Dunn when she was a baby.

Father Mark James Dunn and stepmother Shannon Leigh White, both 43, have been charged under Queensland's recently expanded definition of murder which include reckless indifference to life.

A memorial for Willow was today held at Cannon Hill park by Brisbane's T21 community.

"The passing of Willow hurts so much because her life was short and her story incomplete," celebrant Kellie Rainbow said.

"As Willow's village we acknowledge her precious short life and the journey she has taken since her passing.

"We take some comfort in the thought that Willow is now reunited with her mummy and knows the warmth and security as she is cradled in her mummy's arms."

Mark Dunn holds a baby Willow. He has been charged with her murder.
Mark Dunn holds a baby Willow. He has been charged with her murder.

Willow's biological mother Naomi tragically died shortly after giving birth to her daughter.

Memorial organiser Kathy Dillon said Willow's family had given event their blessing for today but had chosen to remain private and not attend.

"None of us know Willow and if we did, who knows things might be different but just to see love and support from everybody for a child nobody knew but she's got a big place in all of our hearts," she said.

Many of the people attended because their own child has Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21.

"Who wouldn't be touched by such a horrific story," Divina Taschke, whose son has Down syndrome, said.

"It hit way too close to home. You think about how pure and innocent all children are but children with Down syndrome just give nothing but love.

"I kept thinking that in her agony and pain if someone had just reached out to her. People with Down syndrome have a pure heart."

Shannon White, the stepmother of Willow Dunn, was charged with the child’s murder on June 3. Picture: APP Image/Richard Gosling
Shannon White, the stepmother of Willow Dunn, was charged with the child’s murder on June 3. Picture: APP Image/Richard Gosling

Rhiannon Watson said she came to stand with the T21 community.

"It was very sad to hear about Willow. Firstly we didn't know her and we could have maybe helped if we did," she said.

"I also have a daughter named Willow who is almost four and I have a daughter with Down syndrome."

Willow has been cremated by her extended family and a picture of her teddy bear urn was today on display.

Originally published as Heartbroken strangers turn out to remember little Willow


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